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Am dreaming of opening a craft shop,... come and tell me what your dream shop would stock

(75 Posts)
Ingles2 Thu 29-Mar-12 10:19:09

well, maybe a little more than dreaming, I'm starting a business plan eek! grin
So what gorgeous things you would like to see in my shop?
I'm thinking, Sewing and Knitting, open to any suggestions

TheMistsOfAvalon Thu 29-Mar-12 20:27:24

As has been said, quilting supplies, definately workshops too. Also bag/purse making supplies too. Frustrates me no end when I can't find decent bag handles, fusible fleece etc etc.

BigBoobiedBertha Fri 30-Mar-12 12:54:32

Yes Ingles - you are the first person to actually notice that too! They have some great names in those books but I didn't think I was a Snotlout or a Fishlegs or even a Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third so BBB is. Me and my boys have enjoyed those books a lot

To get back to the point of the thread though, even if you can't find the space for tea/coffee etc, you could have a couple of arm chairs or do what my local shop does and have a table and chairs for people to browse through patterns and to sit and have a chat. They are also good places to park your OH if you have the misfortune to go with somebody who isn't a fellow crafter.

TunipTheVegemal Fri 30-Mar-12 13:34:46

Have you factored in business rates? My local bookshop has had to move from its towncentre shop to one on the edge of a park, AFAIK because of business rates as much as rent. It's a major headache for small shopkeepers, I understand.

Re viability, however, a friend of mine has a dh who works for one of the big online quilting shops and she reports that despite the recession and increases in the cost of cotton on the worldwide market, business is good, because there's such a boom in crafting at the moment. It's counter cyclical apparently - when people have less money they take up quilting (even if they then spend a blooming fortune on fabric smile).

nickelhasababy Fri 30-Mar-12 14:03:53

business rates are usually about half of your rent.
it's extortionate, but there's small business rate relief, which amounts to about 15% of your rates, i think.
(it's a sliding scale)

definitely do a knit'n'natter club! grin

DonkeyTeapot Fri 30-Mar-12 20:30:01

I'd love to see more unusual yarn available to buy, rather than the usual Sirdar, Rowan, King Cole stuff. Of course, if you don't have much competition nearby, then they would probably be good to stock, but if there are other yarn shops not far away, they might have the more mainstream stuff covered. Agree that Sirdar snuggly baby bamboo is lovely though!

aJumpedUpPantryBoy Fri 30-Mar-12 20:57:11

Unusual yarn would be good.
My local yarn store will take back any full unused balls, so if you buy too many for a project you can return or exchange them.

lazymonkeyface Fri 30-Mar-12 21:54:45

Quilting things. Nice fabric.

BigBoobiedBertha Fri 30-Mar-12 22:38:03

Fyberspates is lovely yarn. They sell their own stuff but they also supply other yarn shops. They are getting quite well known now too. I definitely have them.

NorkyPies Fri 30-Mar-12 22:45:47

Intro (beginners') craft books.

millymae Fri 30-Mar-12 23:07:24

No one has mentioned bergere de france wool. They have a huge range which comes in lovely colours, and nice patterns (especially for babies and children) which I've found to be quite easy to follow. The wool washes well and seems to goes a long way - even better it's cheaper than Rowan, Debbie Bliss and Sirdar.

If there was a shop close to me that stocked this wool I'd be there like a shot - as it is I've had to resort to buying on-line.

SoupDragon Sat 31-Mar-12 09:40:35

Nowadays I think you need to have an online shop as well as the bricks-and-mortar one.

nickelhasababy Sat 31-Mar-12 10:41:02

fabric is difficult to stock, but you could team up with one of the independent online retailers and offer a "next day" ordering service.
you could have samples of most of the available fabric so they can see what they're ordering.

GentleOtter Sat 31-Mar-12 10:57:25

This is my local yarn/craft store
They do a knit and natter on Tuesday mornings, baking and soup, craft workshops and I love it there.
I like examples of yarn already knitted into an article so you can see how it looks finished and there is a basket in the corner with enormous needles where you can knit a few rows of what looks like a rug.

They stock good quality material and notions plus are happy to fire up the sewing machine and explain tricky bits.

It has good food and a big wood fire so it feels homely plus an interesting play area outside.

EssentialFattyAcid Sat 31-Mar-12 12:39:16

Is it mainly the SAHMs who do quilting and crafts?
I love the idea but can't seem to devote much time to it in reality sad
Plus the shops are typically closed on Sundays and evenings which is when I would be most likely to go!

Ingles2 Sat 31-Mar-12 13:48:21

loads more replies, grin Thank you grin
I've got to go to supermarket, but I'll come back tonight and answer.

Ingles2 Sat 31-Mar-12 18:57:35

Hi again smile Thanks so much for all your advice... it really is much appreciated.
BigBoobiedBertha Love your name is from HTTYD, they are really fab books and my boys loved them as well. Have you ever listened to the audio books voiced by David Tennant? Totally Brilliant! We've spent many hours driving across France listening to them.

So back to planning... yep looked at rent and rates and etc I think I may well have to move out of the chosen town slightly if I want space for workshops, but I'll keep looking.. there is a fantastic space available on the high street But access is up stairs atm.. my initial feeling was, too difficult for the white haired brigade (hereon known as WHB) and I don't want to exclude them... I don't know how much either, so I'll have to check that out.

We have a really successful weekly farmers market in our village, people travel for miles to come...Dh thinks it might be a good idea to have a stall there for a while, spread the word around and see what the market wants... What do you all think?

Thanks for the suggestions of yarn, much appreciated.... I'm not a knitter, infact I can't knit, but having worked on craft books for years I thought I knew what I wanted... turns out I know the difference between beautiful wool and not so beautiful wool and that's about it! grin
The one thing I can do is take gorgeous pics of all the stock, so I'm not worried about having an on-line store.
and I am planning on Sundays and Evenings being open, because it's not just the WHB and SAHM who craft.... the rest of us just don't have much time to do it! grin

VerityClinch Sat 31-Mar-12 19:31:14

I can't help with stock advice but I can help with the numbers bits of the business plan and sense check it etc if you like.


Maybe over a coffee.

Only one, mind. After two of those faux-Italian-name-for-large (swimmingpoolio?) so big the cup has two handles coffees on Friday you should have seen the speed at which I mopped the kitchen floor.

Ingles2 Sat 31-Mar-12 19:38:10

PMSL Verity I had the shakes FFS! grin
Would love your help though... and more coffee. Maybe just not the swimmingpoolio version. grin

ChippingInNeedsCoffee Sat 31-Mar-12 20:17:42

How exciting grin

I would rather go specifically to your shop and be able to park easily & have a coffee whilst having a look through the books in a comfy chair, than for it to be in the middle of the shopping centre.

If you stock Debbie Bliss Cashmarino DK (and maybe Rowan Cashsoft DK), you will have MN orders!!

Once you have set up, get yourself a really good name for immediate posting and a great online shop.

It's great that you are starting from scratch so all the fittings etc will be new and nice and the shop will be new, freshly painted etc and not run down and 'sad/old'. I like a shop with nice fittings and fewer things than bulk shelving and masses of stuff crammed in.

I think 'attitude' is the biggest thing though - so I am sure you will do well smile

- Not huffing & puffing when something is 'out the back' (and the customer has the audacity to want to see it <eye roll>).

- Having an answer phone and actually returning calls.

- Listening to the (potential) customer when they ring up to ask if you have a specific wool and not answering 'yes' only to tell them (when they have driven a good distance to see it/buy it) that you thought they meant 'a different wool' and to say you thought it wouldn't matter ...

- Generally being enthusiastic about it all and not 'bored/fed up/over it'.

Can you tell I had a crap experience trying to get the last lot of wool I bought??

What area are you looking at?

GentleOtter - I am envious!!

VerityClinch Sat 31-Mar-12 20:31:03

Am totally up for that. By which I mean more, non-excessive, coffee (I had the shakes too, then a massive lethargic crash, only managed to do nursery run thanks to handful of secret Haribo stash) and help-with-boring-bits. Hell, could even man the farmers market stall for a few hours as long as no-one asked me any questions (or wanted to see examples of my previous work wink)

Ingles2 Sat 31-Mar-12 20:57:39

Chipping that's exactly the same position as I'm coming from.
There are 2 small craft supply shops near here (and as we're rural, I'm talking 10+ miles)
They are small, dirty, full of so many different crafts, you can't possibly see what there is and staffed by old dears who can't really answer your question and in one case, can't be bothered either (disclaimer: not all old dears are like this)
Verity I'll be taking you up on this you know! grin

creativepebble Sat 31-Mar-12 21:28:50

mosaic kits... Love them. Also beads.

TunipTheVegemal Tue 03-Apr-12 11:23:57

I agree with your instinct about it being important not to be up stairs - not just for the old ladies but also the SAHMs with buggies.
Even a few steps into the shop can stop you popping in - there was a childrenswear shop in my town that only lasted a few months and I'm sure that was one reason.

Ingles2 Tue 03-Apr-12 13:33:20

I'm sure you're right Tunip that said, we've got a really fantastic toyshop here that is up a teeny tiny stair case and they seem to do well... still, it's too much of an issue for me I think.
I've had a good old think the last day or 2 and I think I'm going to try the market first. That way, I don't have to commit to such an extent and I can do some market research on what people actually want round here. Dc are busy this pm, so I'm going to try and get more done on this business plan...Can't say I enjoy the paperwork bit smile

VerityClinch Tue 03-Apr-12 16:46:15

Have you approached the chamber of commerce at all? Or posted on the town forum website? The latter was LOADS of help to me when we moved, it's very active and I got some great advice about all sorts of things.

As for the paperwork, let me know any time you want to bounce anything off me or make use of my extensive spreadsheet skills, cash flow models and profit and loss predictions...

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